by Justin Brady
In 2013, I saw a lot of great theatrical, dance and musical performances, and still it was not enough. This year my resolution is to see at least three performances each month. That would be 36 shows, but when I take into account my IndyFringe binge in August, I hope to get closer to 50. Even then that won't tip the scales of all the offerings Indianapolis brings to the table right now.
I challenge you to join me in resolving to see more performing arts in 2014. Customize your resolution to fit your lifestyle. It could be a show a week, a month or every three. But as part of your challenge, try to diversify your picks and step outside your comfort zone, whether that's seeing an edgy experimental performance or making it a night at the symphony. As part of my monthly preview of the arts, I will be sharing my progress and invite you to check in monthly and share your own.
My January Must-See List
Satisfying My Inner Risk-Taker:
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Footlite Musicals, Jan. 10 − 26
This little community theater in Herron Morton has been around since 1955, but with young blood aboard the theater isn't stuck playing things safe. Recent years have brought performances of edgier or under-produced works, but 2014 starts with what might be Footlite's riskiest choice yet. Hedwig and the Angry Inch features a fictional rock-and-roll band fronted by an East German transgendered singer. The show will have a revival on Broadway this year led by the esteemed Neil Patrick Harris. Footlite Musicals hands the direction over to Paige Scott, one of Indy's emerging talents. Last year she directed a quirky production of The Importance of Being Earnest with EclecticPond Theatre Company. Damon Clevenger stars as Hedwig, having proven his charisma as Angel in Footlite's production of Rent and the lead in Bat Boy the Musical.
Making a Dent in My Theater Bucket
And Then They Came For Me: Remembering The World Of Anne Frank
Indiana Repertory Theatre, Jan. 17 - Feb. 15
James Still has written 15 plays during his tenure as playwright-in-residence at the IRT, and I must admit I haven't seen any. While I feel ashamed, this seems like a safe choice for me to dive into his work. Based on the lives of Anne Frank's friends, And Then They Came For Me is James Still's most-produced play. It promises to share the horrors of living in hiding and concentration camps through video and live performance. Adding intrigue to this production will be direction by the IRT's new Associate Artistic Director Courtney Sale. She made her IRT debut last season directing Steven Dietz's Jackie and Me. Read this insightful interview to learn more about Courtney Sale's perspective on theater and her new home in Indianapolis.
The Safe Bet for a Delightful Night:
Dance Kaleidoscope, Jan. 9 − 12
As someone who a few years ago never went to a dance performance, I can easily say that now I find it hard to miss a Dance Kaleidoscope show. These dancers are crazy talented, and the selections always leave you feeling joyful. The chance to see Dance Kal paired with two of Gershwin's greatest works is just beyond a no-brainer. Artistic Director and choreographer David Hochoy will premiere the energetic An American in Paris lead by two of DK's rising stars, Brandon Comer and Caitlin Negron. It concludes with a reprise of his staging of Rhapsody in Blue. It is basically an American institution at this point, and it's one that I have heard performed countless times and never tired of. I look forward to seeing how it is interpreted here by Hochoy, one of Indy's most reliable artists.
More Options For Your Consideration:
·Boyband Season 2, Defiance Comedy at White Rabbit
Cabaret, Starts Jan. 22
·Defending the Caveman, Theatre on the Square, Opens Jan. 23
·An Evening with Megan Hilty, The Cabaret at The Columbia Club, Jan. 18
·Happy Hour at the Symphony featuring Lily & Madeline and Time for Three, ISO, Jan. 23
·Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human, The Center for the Performing Arts, Jan. 15
·Lend Me A Tenor, Beef & Boards, Dec. 28 − Feb. 2
·The Love List, Theatre on the Square, Jan. 10 − Feb. 15
·Tribes, Phoenix Theatre, Jan. 9 − Feb. 9, 2014
·Vintage Hitchcock, Buck Creek Players, Jan. 24 - Feb. 2
Share your performing arts viewing goals and must-sees in the comments!